INTERVIEWEE: Thierry Kunz – Brand Lead
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new 17/18 line and tell us about them.
For two seasons NIDECKER have been in the process of a brand reconstruction so there is a lot of new things, especially on the carving segment where NIDECKER was the world leader in the 90’s.
So the first board is the CONCEPT. It’s pretty safe to say that at Nidecker we’ve got it wired on how to make a snowboard carve. With multiple Alpine world titles won on our boards over the past 30 years, our pedigree really is second to none. Well for this season we’ve taken all that knowledge and blended it with the latest thinking in snowboard design and we’ve come up with what we believe to be the ultimate powder inspired carving board. Welcome to the new Concept. Whether hard carving on piste or looking for the deepest powder stashes, this high performance board really will take your riding to another place.
The second is the RAVE. Our brief for the new Rave was pretty simple, we wanted a board that delivered truly stunning performance across the whole mountain but which still gave you those runs that put the biggest grin on your face. Well, thanks to our knowledge of building some of the very best performance board’s ever seen in snowboarding, we think we’ve actually achieved exactly what we were looking for. With a new construction mixing cap on the nose for an easy and precise ride and the power of the sandwich between the feet and at the tail, we’ve delivered a board that carves the piste and rips the pow like nothing you’ve ever ridden.
The third is the MELLOW. Let’s face it, there really is no other feeling that comes close to laying out those big long surfy carves in the pow and nailing those high speed lay outs on fresh corduroy. With that in mind we sat down and came up with what we believe to be one of the coolest and most enjoyable surf inspired snowboards we’ve ever designed. Using some of our original Nidecker outlines from the past, but integrating them with the most high-tech manufacturing available, we believe we’ve come up with an incredible board that finally blurs that line between riding mountains and catching the perfect wave.
Construction. Using any new inserts / edge tech / cores / sidewalls / glue / wood types / metals / bases / other materials? Or are you using this stuff in any new ways?
We worked on construction and added a new construction in our tech toolbox. This construction is a mix of Sandwich and Cap that we modernized from the original one that we built in 1998 on some DONUTS Snowboards.
The cap is used on the nose and the rest is in the Sandwich to give some power in torsion, specially for our Carving boards.
Where will you build your boards, any changes? What makes this production facility the best solution for you?
Still in Tunisia, but for one year we have worked very closely with the factory to develop new techs and increase drastically the quality and finish.
Where is the pricepoint that’s working the best right now? Right at the top, at the bottom, or somewhere inbetween?We have all price points at NIDECKER but the pricepoint is between 399 Euro and 449 so mid price even if number are good in super high and entry price.
How long is your warranty, anything new here?
We do a regular guaranty of 2 years …
We’re seeing a lot of small, grassroots snowboard brands getting traction again. How does this affect your brand, marketing & positioning?
We are happy to see that new brands are coming into the market, it will help the entire industry. Carving is what we are and to see those brands going is this direction, make us stronger.
What inspired your topsheet & base aesthetics? Where is the trend here – muted, flashy, photos, what? Any cool collabs/limited editions?
We rebranded all products and changed completely our aesthetics strategy. We added clear branding on the top and base using our New LOGO and following our segmentation. Our inspiration is part about the sport industry (cycling, running, etc) but also about our roots in Switzerland and Technology. So there is no crazy skate inspired graphics but more of the sporty swiss inspired clean and nice tech products.
We did a collab with Marc Ninghetto, a Swiss artist/photographer from Geneva – mixing photo, Swiss mountains and writing. Check out marcninghetto.com
Shops are asking for a two-year product life cycle to help sell boards on price longer. Any thoughts on this, or featuring any carryover boards in the line?
Yes we have also been working with carryover product for the last couple of years.
Doing splitboards? What are you doing to push this segment forward?
Why should we do splitboards when we have the number one brand in the group with JONES. So no we won’t be doing splitboards.